Awesome History

A Brief History of PEZ

A Brief History of PEZ

Like many people, we enjoy collecting PEZ dispensers. Sure, the candy bricks that come inside them aren’t that exciting, but it’s the characters and dispensing mechanism that makes them fun. PEZ looks back at its own history, and explains how it got its start making peppermints. See also: How PEZ are made.

Flamethrower.

Flamethrower.

Ahoy is back with another of their great, deadpan videos about weaponry. This time, they provide a in-depth look at the fiery death-dealers known as flamethrowers, and their appearances in video games, movies, TV, and real-life combat. We had no idea flamethrower tanks were a thing.

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The History of French Fries

The History of French Fries

We love us some nice crispy French fries. Mental Floss host Justin Dodd digs into the origins of this fast food staple, its varieties, and why it’s become one of the most popular side dishes on earth. Along the way, you’ll enjoy a snack of potato chips and Tater Tots.

Why Plastic Exists

Why Plastic Exists

In the early 1900s, electricity was about to take the world by storm. But live wires couldn’t safely be used without insulation. Resin harvested from insects worked, but was too expensive to harvest. Necessity being the mother of invention, it drove chemist Leo Baekeland to develop what would become the world’s first plastic.

Banned and Recalled Toys

Banned and Recalled Toys

Over the years, there have been numerous cases where toys got pulled off of the shelves. As part of his amazing Toy History series, Ed’s Retro Geek Out delves into some of the times when a toy vanished because of safety, consumer complaints, or other reason, in some cases, turning them into rare collectibles.

Why Salt and Pepper Go Together

Why Salt and Pepper Go Together

In many parts of the world, using salt and pepper to season foods is as ubiquitous as the duo of ketchup and mustard. But how did this pairing of two very different seasonings rise to such popularity? BBC Ideas series Edible Histories provides a brief backgrounder on the flavorful combo.

The Evolution of Movie Car Chases

The Evolution of Movie Car Chases

Car chases have been a staple of moviemaking since the days of silent film. Insider looks at how chase scenes have evolved over the years through the advancements in stunt coordination, safety equipment, cameras, rigging, and visual effects technologies.

The Past We Can Never Return to

The Past We Can Never Return to

Science video makers Kurzgesagt teamed up with author and online personality John Green to create an animated clip to accompany an excerpt from his podcast The Anthropocene Reviewed. The focus of the episode is on the possible meaning of cave paintings, and what they might tell us about the human condition.

The History of Hot Wheels

The History of Hot Wheels

To complement the Big Car video channel, Little Car creates documentaries about various kinds of vehicles, including toy cars. In this video, they look back at the origins of Mattel’s Hot Wheels cars, their various collections, and their evolution over the years. They’ve also got lessons on Matchbox, Dinky, and Corgi cars.

Music, Makers & Machines

Music, Makers & Machines

Google Arts & Culture’s online exhibition offers a fascinating look at the history of electronic music. The museum features content from cultural partners around the world and looks at the people, technology, and creativity that paved the way for modern music. You can also play with AR Synth, a virtual electronic music studio.

The Evolution of Unreal Engine

The Evolution of Unreal Engine

The first game to use Unreal Engine was… Unreal. Since it appeared on the scene in 1996, computer graphics technology has evolved in leaps and bounds. GameSpot looks back at the history of Epic’s 3D game engine, and just how far it’s come over the years, even powering the environments in The Mandalorian.

F*cking History

F*cking History

This humorous history book offers a unique perspective on past events and how they can often still be relevant today. Penned by Kyle Creek (aka “The Captain“), the book compiles a mix of obscure trivia and historical facts, drawing parallels between them and modern situations we can all relate to.

The Rise and Fall of MTV

The Rise and Fall of MTV

In the 1980s and early 1990s, MTV was the place to go for the latest music videos. But over the years, the network has lost its way and its cultural relevancy. Slidebean’s Company Forensics digs into MTV’s history, their explosive growth, and the gradual changes that moved them away from their musical roots.

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The Mysterious Horned Helmet of Henry VIII

The Mysterious Horned Helmet of Henry VIII

This unusual helmet was gifted to King Henry VIII by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I in 1514. The headgear has curly horns like a Kudu antelope, and a pair of spectacles. Atlas Obscura checked in with Henry Yallop from the Royal Armouries to learn about the theories surrounding this strange ceremonial garb.

Why Do Electric Plugs Have Holes?

Why Do Electric Plugs Have Holes?

The reason that electric plugs typically have two or three metal prongs is very easy to explain. But what about those holes you see in the tips of the prongs? Silver Cymbal digs into the backstory and purpose of this mysterious design attribute and shines some light on the topic.

How the Eames LCW Chair is Made

How the Eames LCW Chair is Made

As one of the most notable designs of the 20th century, the Eames LCW (Lounge Chair Wood) is an icon of mid-century modern furniture. Brandmade.TV looks back at the history of the chair, and goes inside the factory where Herman Miller continues to make these chairs by stacking, bending, and sanding plywood veneers.

A Brief History of Home Video

A Brief History of Home Video

These days, most content is streamed or played on Blu-ray discs. But there was a time when videotapes were the media of choice. Mental Floss takes a trip in the wayback machine to tell the story of VCRs, the epic war between Betamax and VHS, and how the technologies changed everything for visual entertainment.

Hot Hatches of the 1970s

Hot Hatches of the 1970s

When gearheads think of hot hatches, the Volkswagen Golf GTI often comes to mind as the genre’s first entry. Goodwood Road & Racing looks back at the early days’ hot hatches to show off some even earlier models, along with other small and agile cars which kicked off the trend in Europe.

Middle Ages Misconceptions

Middle Ages Misconceptions

You might assume that most people in the middle ages thought the earth was flat, but it turns out many of them already knew the earth was round. Mental Floss host Justin Dodd explores this misconception and a few others about medieval times.

Ronald McDonald: A Life

Ronald McDonald: A Life

(PG-13: Language) For decades, Ronald McDonald was one of the world’s most recognized brand mascots. But something happened when 2016 hit, and the once-ubiquitous character all but vanished from the scene. Ordinary Things recalls the history of the burger clown, from his creepy early beginnings to his eventual downfall.

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How Candy Corn Became a Halloween Tradition

How Candy Corn Became a Halloween Tradition

Despite many people despising the fake, sugary flavor of candy corn, it’s still a wildly popular Halloween treat. Mental Floss explores the history of this divisive, tri-colored candy and why it’s so closely associated with the holiday. We never thought about it before, but candy corn has real corn in it, sorta.

The Caproni CA-60 Transaereo

The Caproni CA-60 Transaereo

With eight engines, nine wings, and room for 100 passengers, this early 20th-century flying machine was designed to be the first mass-passenger aircraft capable of transatlantic flight. Mustard looks back at the history of this unusual airplane, and what ended up being its downfall.

Abandoned: S.S America

Abandoned: S.S America

Christened in 1940, the S.S. America was a glorious oceanliner that could carry 1200 passengers in luxurious surroundings. But a series of events led the vessel to eventually being abandoned and becoming a rusted-out shipwreck. Bright Sun Films looks back at the unfortunate history of this once-impressive cruise ship.

The Earth in One Day

The Earth in One Day

Imagine, if you will, that the entire 4.5 billion year history of the Earth was collapsed down to a 24-hour single day. Bright Side’s educational video does just that, taking significant events in the development of our world and giving us a relative sense of how closely together they played out.

When Time Became History

When Time Became History

To celebrate the release of their Human Era Calendar for the year 12,021, Kurzgesagt looks to the distant future to imagine what it might be like for future archeologists as they attempt to reconstruct our present, along with the challenges we face figuring out our past.

Forgotten Failures

Forgotten Failures

Did you know that Warner Bros. made an entire unaired Blazing Saddles TV series just so they could skirt a contract issue with Mel Brooks? Or that the GEICO cavemen had a sitcom? Hats Off Entertainment’s Forgotten Failures is a great series about these and other obscure sequels and reboots.

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